The first action of the new speedway season saw Birmingham Brummies claim a narrow 47-43 win over Belle Vue Aces at Perry Barr.
The challenge match was the first in 2013, and it saw Belle Vue put up an admirable showing especially as they were running rider/replacement for new number one Matej Zagar - who is in New Zealand ahead of the opening Grand Prix.
Birmingham's new top man Chris Harris began his warm up for the new season in good form by leading the side home with 12-points, he was the only home rider to hit double figures - but Danny King, Ben Barker and Martin Smolinski all scored well.
The Aces looked sharp and Craig Cook was very good for 11, whilst Magnus Zetterstrom and skipper Ales Dryml both hit 10 as the Manchester side showed some good pace.
Aces team manager Jason Attwood said: "It was an excellent workout for the boys on a night which was about performances rather than the result.
"Cook and Zetterstrom were great together and their partnership could be a trump card for us this season."